Conlin, Sawant target invalid votes in tight City Council race

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by ZAHID ARAB / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on November 8, 2013 at 1:27 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 11 at 12:18 AM

The race for Seattle City Council Position 2 is getting even closer as more votes are counted.

Incumbent Richard Conlin's lead over socialist Kshama Sawant has been trimmed from four to now to less than 1 point.

A new bach of numbers show Conlin at 50.3 percent of the vote to Sawant's 49.5 percent Friday night with a gap of 1,237 votes between the two candidates.

Both campaigns learned that more than 5,600 votes have been declared invalid by King County Elections according to volunteers.

Both campaigns are asking supporters to double-check their vote was counted.

"5,600 is way more than the differential between the two candidates," said Stephen Price, a Sawant Campaign volunteer.

Price and nearly 50 other Sawant campaign volunteers visited voters whose votes may not have been accepted. Most often, the reason is there's something wrong with their signature.

"They need to fill out an affidavit, they can do that themselves. But, we can take care of that for them," said Price.

Jessica Supinski signed one of those affidavits after learning from Price that her vote for Sawant didn't count.

"I'm trying to figure out what happened, I had no idea I was part of it," said Supinski.

Conlin's team wasn't active Sunday, but the councilman did release a statement:

"Washington has a history of close elections, and in moments like these it is essential that we ensure that every vote is counted. We've asked our supporters to verify the status of their ballots with King County Elections, and we are currently continuing to wait on further results from the County as they process and count the ballots they have on hand. We expect each count to give more information, but it looks like we will not have final results for at least several days.

I found out that my ballot has not had its signature checked as of yet, even though I mailed it in well before Election Day. We don't really know much about the composition of the ballots left to be counted, so it is still too early to tell."

The next voting tally is expected out Tuesday.

Conlin has served on the Seattle City Council for 16 years, while Sawant teaches Economics at Seattle Central Community College.

Get complete Decision 2013 Election results.

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